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Overview


Subject/Sub-Subject: Science/Life Science


Title: Physical Characteristics of Animals (SMART board)


Summary:

Students analyze primary source images and determine the unique physical characteristics of the pictured animals. This will serve as an introduction to a unit on physical and behavioral adaptations.


Understanding Goal

Animals have unique physical characteristics.

Investigative Question

What are the physical characteristics of the animals in the primary source images?

Grade(s): 3, K
Audience: General
Learners: The third grade class of sixteen students include students learning English as a second language and one special education student.
Required Vocabulary: N/A
Prior Content Knowledge: N/A
Standards

Virginia: Science - Grade 3

3.4.3. Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Processes: Students should be able to compare the physical characteristics of animals, and explain how the animals are adapted to a certain environment.

3.4.4. Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Processes: Students should be able to explain how an animal's behavioral adaptations help it live in its specific habitat.

Field Tests

Click on the title to expand the description of each field test


Sources

Physical Characteristics of Animals

Understanding Goal

Animals have unique physical characteristics.

Click on an image for more information.

Slideshow Icon View as a slideshow
Animals  Giraffe Octopus

Bears on the Lewis and Clark Expedition Birds. Penguin (looking to left) II
Animals. Squirrel (side view, eating nut) [A polar bear seated on snow and another polar bear walking in background] / Carl Ederer. Eagles / photo. by L.C. McClure, Denver. [Morning, deer at stream in forest]/ Dupre pins; Lalanne sculp Fishing. Two goldfish in tank I [Zebra walking away from the camera in an enclosure at the Lincoln Park Zoo].

Required Materials

Supply Lists

-SMARTboard
-Posters or Bulletin board

Directions

Investigation

Step 0 Print the LOC images, label the images, and prepare a separate sheet for recording the physical characteristics during the wrap up discussion.
Step 1 Introduce the concept of physical characteristics by comparing two students in a class. Reiterate that physical characteristics are seen, and that animals also have physical characteristics.
Step 2 Project all of the images onto a Smartboard. Number the images. Have the students work in pairs. Instruct students to write the number that corresponds to the image, and then write the name of the animal, describe the physical characteristics of the animal, and where the animal lives.
Step 3 Have a class discussion of the images. List and summarize the physical characteristics, and habitats of each animal on a sheet of paper. This information can be displayed along with the image of each animal on posters or on a bulletin board.
Step 5 Collect the written observations. Determine how to proceed with teaching physical and behavioral adaptations based on the students current understanding of physical characteristics.

Best Practices


Analysis of Student Learning


Looking at the photographs was a great way to introduce the concept of physical characteristics. The students knew about the term characteristic from studying Greece and Mali. They were able to apply what they knew about this word to the physical characteristics of animals. Based on student observations and descriptions such as "the animal is hard to see" I introduced the word camouflage. This led to a discussion of this concept, which is one of the physical adaptations the students need to know. My class enjoyed talking about the photographs and working cooperatively. Using pictures is beneficial to all students, but especially the ESOL/HILT students in class.


Analysis of Best Instructional Practices (learn more)

Literacy Instruction Literacy Instruction(learn more)

Writing

Students write down their observations of the animals' characteristics.

Visual

Students viewed the images on a Smartboard as a whole group.

Technology Integration Technology Integration(learn more)

Whole Group Presentation

Even though technology was used, the images could be printed and discussed just as well.

Reflections and Recommendations


The students loved seeing the images on the SMARTboard. The photos kept the students engaged and interested in the lesson. It was a great way to introduce the physical characteristics of animals. The images will be used for future lessons on physical adaptations (camouflage and mimicry)and behavioral adaptations (hibernation and migration).


Credits

Authors and Contributors

Jean Renoll
Oakridge Elementary School, Arlington County Public Schools, Virginia

Library of Congress Items

Library of Congress items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Library of Congress Item
Animals  Giraffe Keystone View Co. 1919 Animals Giraffe. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Sterograph Cards.
Octopus

Unknown. 1898-1916. Octopus . Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, RR-George Grantham Bain Collection.
Bears on the Lewis and Clark Expedition Holl, F. 1873. Bears on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Popular Graphic Arts.
Birds. Penguin (looking to left) II
Horydczak, T. 1920-1950. Birds. Penguin (looking to left) II . Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Horydczak Collection .
Animals. Squirrel (side view, eating nut) Horydczak, T. ca.1920-ca.1950. Animals. Squirrel (side view, eating nut). Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Horydczak Collection .
[A polar bear seated on snow and another polar bear walking in background] / Carl Ederer. Ederer, C. 1900-1930?. [A polar bear seated on snow and another polar bear walking in background] / Carl Ederer. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, Popular Graphic Arts.
Eagles / photo. by L.C. McClure, Denver. McClure, L. C. 1880-1910?. Eagles / photo. by L.C. McClure, Denver. Library of Congress: American Memory, History of the American West, 1860-1920: Photographs from the Collection of the Denver Public Library.
[Morning, deer at stream in forest]/ Dupre pins; Lalanne sculp Lalanne, M. 1850-1886. [Morning, deer at stream in forest]/ Dupre pins; Lalanne sculp. Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs, RR-Fine Prints by Federal Art Project Artists .
[Zebra walking away from the camera in an enclosure at the Lincoln Park Zoo]. Chicago Daily News, Inc. 1908. [Zebra walking away from the camera in an enclosure at the Lincoln Park Zoo]. Library of Congress: American Memory, Photographs from the Chicago Daily News, 1902-1933.

Other Items

Other items used in this Lesson Plan.

Thumbnail Other Item
Fishing. Two goldfish in tank I Horydczak, T. ca. 1920-1950. Fishing. Two goldfish in tank I. Other: Prints & Photographs, Horydczak Collection .